Battlefords Pride will be continuing to host LGBTQ+ pride events next month, while still being cautious to work around the pandemic.

The organization usually holds a week of events in August, celebrating and showing solidarity with LGBTQ+ people across the world. This year, the City of North Battleford will have a  Pride flag-raising, which will not have a ceremony this year due to health guidelines. A  19+ drag show and a free all-ages movie screening of Bohemian Rhapsody are planned as well, with donations going to Battlefords Pride’s community initiatives.

Battlefords Pride’s secretary Kelly Waters says they decided to keep creating events for both visibility and continued support of the LGBTQ+ community.

“It’s really, really important. Every time we do things publicly, there’s always people  either openly or quietly  to the side coming up and saying ‘thank you so much for doing this.’ Either they identify as queer, or they have family members [who] do and run into a lot of homophobia around here, a lot of misunderstanding, a lot of fear. So it’s about raising awareness, and sending a message that inclusion is important.”

Battlefords Pride will also be holding their annual sidewalk painting in both the Town of Battleford and North Battleford. The intersection outside City Hall in Battleford and the intersection at the North Battleford Public Library will be painted in the rainbow LGBTQ+ Pride flag, as well as the Transgender Pride flag this year. Discovery Co-Op has also donated paint for the organization, and in case of vandalism pledged to help with re-paint materials as well.

Waters also adds that they’re planning the logistics of the drag show and other events, but they will have to see what health guidelines shape out to be.

“There’s going to be for sure a walk. It might have again social distancing and masks and that kind of stuff, depending on what’s going on. We don’t want to do anything that’s unsafe or risky. People are excited that there’s going to be something.”

Battlefords Pride will be releasing a schedule and a call for volunteers to help them paint on their Facebook page.